• Jammeh 'sacks' US ambassador who urged him to accept defeat

    20/Dec/2016 // 1424 Viewers

     

    The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has sacked the US ambassador who called for him to accept defeat to Adama Barrow in elections this month, according to a letter written by the ambassador.

    In a letter being shared on social media bearing the embassy's official stamp, Ambassador Omar Faye writes: 

    I would like to inform my friends, colleagues and all Gambians that I have been recalled for home service.
    The ambassador says he will stand down willingly, adding he's like the long-serving ruler to follow his example:

    I hope and pray that president Jammeh will likewise hand over to President Elect Adama Barrow.
    He finishes his letter by urging all authorities, especially the army, which observers say is the key to the outcome of The Gambia's election crisis, to respect Mr Barrow's win in the 1 December election:

    I am hereby reminding all Gambian officials, civil servants and military personnel [that] they are serving the people of The Gambia and must protect its security, peace and prosperity.
    As a former military officer, I was taught loyalty to country FIRST. I hope the armed and security forces will uphold the WILL of The Gambian people made on December 1, 2016."


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  • JUST IN: Finally, BUHARI breaks silence, warns JAMMEH to leave power on January 18 in his own interest

    20/Dec/2016 // 19637 Viewers

     

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari a retired General in the Nigerian Army cum 'democratically' elected civilian president has finally broken silence on the electoral impasse in the Gambia in his capacity as the chief mediator. He warned that any attempt by outgoing President Jammeh to stay in power beyond January 18 will be met with fierce resistance as everything has kept in place to forcefully remove him from power if need be, sources disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital.

    His position was also corroborated by other West African leaders, under the aegis of ECOWAS who jointly issued a statement and sent an unmistakable signal to President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia that they would not allow him to stay longer than January 18 in power.

    The leaders at their meeting in Abuja resolved to attend the inauguration of the Gambian President-Elect, Adama Barrow, on January 18, 2017 in conformity with the Gambian constitution.

    According to a communiqué presented at the end of the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Abuja on Saturday, the out-going President Yahya Jammeh must uphold the result of the December 1 presidential election in the country and must guarantee the safety and protection of the President-elect.

    The communiqué said: “The Authority calls on President Yahya Jammeh to accept the result of the polls and refrain from any action likely to compromise the transition and peaceful transfer of power to the President-Elect.”

    The Authority also appointed President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and his Ghanaian counterpart, John Mahama, as Chief Mediator and Co-Mediator respectively in the Gambian political impasse.

    Four of the ECOWAS leaders – Muhammadu Buhari, John Mahama of Ghana, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone and ECOWAS chairperson, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – visited Banjul on Tuesday to persuade Jammeh to accept the result of the election.

    Although President Buhari said Jammeh was receptive to their discussions, his obduracy in accepting the result of the poll became a major issue at the ECOWAS talks in Abuja Saturday.


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  • Gambia crisis 'hits Christmas tourist bookings' - BBC

    20/Dec/2016 // 701 Viewers

     

    The Gambia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry says 90% of businesses in the tourism sector have been affected by the uncertainty caused by the current political stalemate.

    It says they're experiencing cancellations and a decline in tourist numbers for the Christmas season.

    This has affected craft vendors, like Auntie Marie de Mama, who told me: "It is very sad. There is no business; there is no business here for me to make something for my children. There is nothing going on."

    President Yahya Jammeh, in power since 1994, is challenging the result of a presidential poll earlier this month in which he initially accepted defeat. 


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  • I command the chief of defence staff, officers of high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me - President Adama Barrow

    20/Jan/2017 // 2050 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 17, 2016: (DGW)After being sworn-in in Dakar, Senegal, Adama Barrow, has returned to The Gambia to further claim his mandate.
    Hours after Barrow was sworn in in The Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal, he has returned home amidst tight security.

    Barrow’s arrival was greeted with loud celebrations in the streets of Banjul, with some excited citizens capturing his return on their mobile devices.

    Speaking after taking oath of office in Dakar, Barrow called on security forces to “demonstrate their loyalty” in a standoff with outgoing President, Yahya Jammeh.

    He said, “From today on, I am the president of the Gambia regardless of whether you voted for me or not.”

    “I command the chief of defence staff and officers of high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me as commander in chief without any delay.

    “I command all members of the armed forces to remain in their barracks, those found wanting or in possession of firearms without my order will be considered rebels.”

    Barrow has been in Senegal for several days at the request of West African leaders until his planned inauguration.


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  • What will Jammeh tell the Mauritanian and Guinean presidents? - Thomas Fessy BBC News, Banjul

    20/Jan/2017 // 2541 Viewers

     

    On the tarmac at the airport in Banjul the red carpet is in place and officials are waiting for the presidents of Guinea and Mauritania to land. 

    Soldiers here are smiling and friendly. 

    Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the UN's regional envoy to West Africa who has repeatedly said that longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh must step down, is here. 

    In the city itself, things remain quiet this morning and shops and businesses are still closed. 

    There is a feeling that the end of the political crisis is close but everybody is anxiously waiting to hear what Mr Jammeh will tell the presidents of Guinea and Mauritania. 

    The head of the Ecowas commission, Marcel de Souza, has suggested Mr Jammeh could be flown to Guinea before deciding on his fate. 

    Interestingly, Mauritania is not a member state of Ecowas and the Guinean president, Alpha Conde, has repeatedly voiced his opposition to a regional military action, arguing that diplomacy should prevail instead.


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  • JUST IN: 45,000 have fled The Gambia - UN

    20/Jan/2017 // 956 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 20, 2016: (DGW) NO fewer than 45,000 Gambians have reportedly fled the country in wake of the political logjam in the country, the UN's refugee agency says.

    Neighbouring Senegal has aid ready for up to 100,000 refugees, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said.

     


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  • EDITORIAL: Gambia severance reveals smarting pettiness from PRC

    20/Mar/2016 // 368 Viewers

     

    Beijing announced last Thursday day it had resumed diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, a West African nation that had been Taiwan's diplomatic ally for close to two decades. As a new government of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party will be launched on May 20, Beijing's move signals the end of President Ma Ying-jeou's vaunted "diplomatic truce" with the People's Republic of China.

    President Ma, who was in Belize during his Latin American official visit, expressed his "great dissatisfaction" over the resumption of Chinese-Gambian diplomatic ties, while Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party who will be sworn in as president in a little more than two months, hopes Beijing did not "purposefully" do it.

    Ma proclaimed an unofficial truce between Taiwan and China in 2008 to end their rivalry to win diplomatic allies by anteing up financial assistance against each other. During his two terms, Taiwan lost only two allies, Costa Rica and the Gambia. It now maintains diplomatic relations with 22 nations around the world that may all switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing shortly after Taiwan has its new government.

    The Gambia, the smallest nation in continental Africa, has shifted between Taiwan and China. Banjul recognized Taipei in 1965. When Taiwan was kicked out of the United Nations in 1971, Banjul derecognized Taipei and set up diplomatic relations with China. In 1995, one year after 1995, Yahya Jammeh came to power, Gambia re-recognized Taiwan. He severed ties with Taiwan again in 2013, because Taipei refused to give him the large cash assistance he had asked for, but Beijing waited more than two years to resume the ties.

    Many of the 22 diplomatic allies, except the Vatican, are fence-sitters just like Gambia. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wished a couple of them would not follow suit before May 25 and the Mainland Affairs Council was complaining that Beijing's move ran counter to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, undermining the foundation of mutual trust and impacting the status quo in the process, Tsai expressed her hope that the resumption of Beijing-Banjul ties is not purposeful and declared both Taiwan and China are responsible for the peace in Asia and the Pacific and there should not be the rivalry in international relations between them "to hurt the feelings of the people on both sides of the strait." She added that her new government will proactively contribute to the international society, and try to win its support as well as support. She also pointed out that there should not be difference in diplomatic policy between her government and the outgoing Kuomintang administration, hoping all the people of Taiwan would support her foreign policy.

    Tsai probably understands Beijing sent the message that she has to accept the unsigned 1992 modus vivendi, under which Taipei and Beijing are agreed that there is but one China whose connotation can be separately and orally enunciated, and say so in her May 20 inaugural speech.

    The major concern now is whether Tsai has the appropriate diplomatic and political depth to present a parrying move that can alleviate the offensive that the PRC has so obviously taken on itself to initiate against Taiwan.

    Taiwan is certainly capable of contributing to all the endeavors of the international community; it has always been doing so, and to be perfectly clear it is Gambia's loss to have sacrificed a loyal friend for money and whatever other leverage that the PRC is perceived to have. All the tumult is basically over whether Taiwan's value will be needlessly put on the line of cross-strait political crossfire in which, unfortunately, the bigger player has the stated goal of vanquishing perceived "bad elements" of the smaller.

    We can't dictate what President-elect Tsai can say to best ward off further aggressive moves from the PRC. But a major purpose of our response should be to reveal one core element of the current dispute: to stop Beijing from painting itself as "responding" to "provocations." The PRC has been throwing out all the moves while wanting to claim it is being snubbed, but isn't it weird to describe the current situation that way, when Tsai has repeatedly said she wants peaceful, viable cross strait relations?

    The president-elect has been respectful so far. If only Beijing returned a semblance of that respect, it would help further negotiations. - The China Post


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  • BREAKING: Many dead in Ghana waterfall accident

    20/Mar/2017 // 831 Viewers

     

    At least 18 people, mainly high school students, have died after a large tree fell on them at a popular waterfall spot in Kintampo, Ghana, police say.
    The students were swimming during a storm when the freak accident happened, local police chief Owusu Boampong told the BBC.
    Twenty-two others were injured and are being treated at local hospitals.
    Rescue teams used chainsaws to cut through the fallen tree and free those trapped underneath, local media report.
     
    President Nana Akufo-Addo has tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.
    Police and fire service personnel were involved in the rescue operation at the scene in Ghana's central Brong-Ahafo region, 400km (250 miles) north of the capital Accra.
    An eyewitness told Ghana's Starr News that most of those involved were students of the Wenchi Senior High School, but that there were also tourists. (BBC)


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  • GAMBIA: Hopes dashed, heart broken as the notorious Mile 2 Prisons gates open without a very important political prisoner

    21/Apr/2017 // 861 Viewers

     

    PARIS, APRIL 21, 2017: (DGW) The hopes of a Gambian woman, Isatu Kanyi, were dashed having waiting patiently and anxiously for a day God became Gambian following the electoral victory and inauguration of President Adama Barrow after 22 years of the exiled Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh.

    Mrs Kanyi's husband was reportedly arrested by the dreaded National Intelligence Agency (NIA) along with other who were reportedly kept in most dehumanizing condition in the notorious Mile 2 prisons in the Gambian capital of Banjul.

    Her husband, according to reports was arrested in September 2006 where he had been detained ever since.

    Reports say the Mile 2 prisons while Mr. Jammeh held sway harbours dissenting voices opposed to his reign of terror were detained and sometimes tortured to death.

    Kanyiba Kanyi the husband of Isatu Kanyi was also detained there  incommunicado since September 2006.

    Recounting her mental and emotional torture to the BBC, she revealed what how she had had to live in the hope that her estranged husband like other political prisoners would be reunited with her someday but little did she know she was hoping for the moon as the gate of Mile 2 prisons were opened without her husband.

    According to her,  "I had hoped to see him again. His son would often ask his father, she said, "and all I can tell him is that his father traveled".

    Writhing in agony, she said, when she heard of President Adama Barrow's magnanimity by proceeding to releasing all political prisoners , her hopes were rekindled and she went to the prison gates in the hope of seeing her husband, Kanyiba walk out but did not see her husband.

    She said, "The doors opened, many people hugged their loved ones who came out, but I did not see my husband," she told the BBC.


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  • GAMBIA: Heavy tension in JAMMEH's village as ECOWAS, Gambian soldiers clash

    21/Apr/2017 // 5926 Viewers

     

    West African forces clashed with Gambian soldiers loyal to former leader Yahya Jammeh, shooting and injuring three who were guarding graves at his home, the soldiers said Friday.

    Modou Mbye said he and his colleagues were guarding graves at the property Thursday and refused when the troops asked to enter. They then entered by force in an armoured personnel carrier, firing their guns, Mbye said.

    “We do not fire back as we were commanded not to,” Mbye said.

    The conflict was caused by a misunderstanding between the two forces and investigations have begun into the incident, Gambia Armed Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Omar B. Bojang said.

    Tensions remain in the village where Jammeh once said he would return after he lost December elections to President Adama Barrow. Jammeh flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea as regional countries threatened a military intervention.

    Thousands of the West African forces are now providing security in Gambia as the new government settles in.

    Barrow has promised to reverse many of the actions taken by Jammeh, who was accused by human rights groups of leading a government that arrested, tortured and killed opponents during his more than a two-decade rule.


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